Serious copywriter smoking a pipe in front of a typewriter

Outsourcing your B2B copywriting to a freelancer can be a daunting task. Choosing the wrong copywriter can cause project delays, increase your workload and cost you more in the long run. However, choosing the right copywriter can make your life easier, improve your marketing results and help you produce more content – faster.

Many B2B marketers try several copywriters before they find the best fit. Make your search easier by looking for the following traits:

1. Experience in Your Industry

Some copywriters are generalists, which means they write about everything from health supplements to electronics. Generalists can be a good choice for agencies that work with both B2B and B2C clients and need a writer who can adapt to anything. However, a generalist may not be the best option for B2B companies with technical or complex offers.

If your product or service has a steep learning curve, look for a writer who has prior experience in your industry. I’ve had several clients come to me after working with generalists who didn’t understand their industry. This caused delays as the copywriters turned in copy that couldn’t be used.

Working with someone who has experience in your industry can decrease the amount of time you spend briefing the writer and managing revisions. This helps your project run smoothly and can bring you better results.

When you look for someone who has prior experience in your industry, you may find a copywriter who has worked for or is working with one of your competitors. The B2B world is small. Discuss any competitive concerns upfront and ask your copywriter to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

2. The Ability to Write “Content” and “Copy”

Writing sales-focused “copy” and writing educational “content” are two different skills. However, since the two are so closely interwoven, it’s best to find a freelancer who can write both.

Look for someone who can tell stories and write journalistic, educational content. Your copywriter should also write compelling calls to action that motivate leads to take the next step after reading your content.

You’ll also see better results if your copywriter brings a touch of “content” into your sales materials. For example, your copywriter should speak to your customers’ needs and challenges – even when writing sales materials such as data sheets and product pages.

3. A Proven Process

You’ll have fewer headaches if your copywriter has a process for completing projects successfully. This process can include providing you with a creative brief, submitting outlines and keeping in touch throughout the project.

Your copywriter should also have a system for handling revisions, as this can greatly impact your timelines. For example, how many rounds of revisions do you think you’ll need? Be sure to account for revisions when planning your timelines.

4. Reliability

American Writers & Artists once revealed that 75% of copywriters miss their deadlines. Yikes!

One way to determine whether you’ll get your copy on time is by asking your copywriter for references or testimonials. Including a timeline in your copywriting contracts can also help you meet your deadlines.

Help your copywriter meet your deadlines by sending them all your background info and quickly responding to any questions. If you don’t give them the info they need until the day before the project is due, your copywriter may not be able to meet your deadlines.

Ease into a relationship with a new copywriter by testing them on a small project. If it goes well, you can feel confident moving forward.